A builder in Stevenage contacted us about cleaning up a Grout Haze problem in a bathroom that they had recently tiled. Ideally grout should be polished off the tile after installation as getting grout off the surface of tiles once it has dried can be difficult. It’s actually a common problem often referred to as Grout Haze or Grout Smears that ruins the look of the tile. To remove it you need to use an acidic product, but acids can cause damage, so you need to be careful. In fact, my customer had read several horror stories on-line where brick acid and other strong chemicals had been used to clean up tiles so had decided to call us in and have it done professionally rather than attempt to do it themselves.
The tiling work had been carried out in the ensuite of a house in Stevenage as part of larger renovation project they were involved in and being a Black porcelain tile the grout smears were very obvious as you can see form the photographs on this page.
Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Ensuite Floor
To remove the grout smears we used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acidic product available from Tile Doctor which penetrates beneath the surface and was specifically created for the removal of grout smears. It can also be used to remove efflorescence which are those white salt deposits that you often see on brickwork. We have used this product on numerous occasions on many different tile installations, so we were confident it would work well on the black porcelain.
We began by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to the tiles with a sponge and then scrubbing it into each individual tile as we went. The tiles are then rinsed with water, inspected and cleaned again if required. I should mention that being an acid-based product, it is advisable to wear rubber gloves and eye protection and ensure any areas not requiring treatment are well covered and protected.
Once done a second rinse was carried out and the resulting residue was removed with a wet vacuum before leaving the tiles to dry off.
This process was carried out throughout the bathroom and to both the floor and wall tiles. The room was quite large, so the job took most of the day to complete, working methodically around each area. Once the areas were dry, you could see that the grout haze was no longer there.
The room was soon left looking much more presentable for the new owners who I’m sure would not have been impressed with the way it looked before. The builders were grateful that we had been able to get the tiles looking pristine and the room looking as good as new. Before leaving we discussed with them the best course of action on future projects to avoid the same problem and recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro as a general maintenance cleaner.
Professional Removal of Grout Smears from Black Porcelain Tiles in Hertfordshire
Photographs below of a Porcelain tiled shower that had been installed at a house in Cheshunt the year before. The tiles were actually dark grey textured porcelain tile but hard water in the area had left very noticeable water stains and limescale deposits that were proving hard to remove with general cleaning.
Hardwater is basically water with a high mineral content which are historically recognised as being good for you, however it’s not so good for the bathroom where the minerals are left behind when the water evaporates.
On the initial visit to survey the tiles we ran a test clean on a small area to ensure we could return the tile back to its as new condition. All went well, and the customer booked us in to return later to complete the work.
Removing Limescale from Porcelain Shower Tiles
Work began by giving the shower tiles an initial clean with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which was worked into grout lines with detail brushes and a burnishing pad for the tile surface. This process removed all the Limescale and water marks.
A second clean was then carried out with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean which is a fast-effective double action cleaning solution that can remove mould and blackspots from grout and silicone. The solution was sprayed on the shower room floor and walls and left to soak in before being worked in with a stiff brush.
The shower tiles were then rinsed with a steam cleaner to remove any trace of product and then buff the tiles with a hand-held white buffing pad to bring up their appearance.
To give it a neat waterproof finish we stripped out the old silicone sealant from around the base of the shower and replaced with new mould resistant silicone.
The shower took a whole day to complete but I think you will agree has been transformed by the process.
Reducing the Impact of Hard Water
To minimise the impact of hard water some shower units will keep the shower running at a gradually decreasing temperature immediately after use. This has the effect of rinsing off the deposits before evaporation has chance to occur. Personally, we recommended you spray the shower tiles with Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro after use, this product is a bathroom tile cleaner that is ideal for the regular cleaning of all types of internal porcelain/ceramic bathroom/wet room tiles. Apply by lightly spraying a dilution of the cleaner and wipe over then water rinse and dry buff to finish.
Hard Water Staining Removal on Porcelain Shower Tiles
Some further photographs below of work we did at a London Hotel in the West End where we removed staining from the Limestone laid in reception. These photographs relate to the cleaning of a Porcelain Tiled floor laid in the Health Club changing rooms which although in good condition were in need of a heavy duty clean.
Deep Cleaning Porcelain Tiles
Unlike stone Porcelain Tile is a relatively straight forward surface to clean. It does help however if you have the right tools and products for the job as household tools and products can struggle.
For this floor we applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean diluted with three parts water to the dry surface. The solution was left on the surface to dwell for 30 minutes to allow it to penetrate the heavy soiling on the floor. During this time the product was scrubbed in using black polypropylene floor pads on a slow speed orbital scrubber. The soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum before rinsing with clean water.
A second clean using the Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied diluted with three parts water and the scrubbing process repeated. This was needed in order to penetrate deeper into the porcelain tile and also to remove any calcium (limescale) deposits from the surface. The soiled solution was extracted again using a wet vacuum and then each tile was carefully rinsed using a fan jet power wash to fully flush the tiles and finally wet vacuumed to dry.
You can see from the photographs the difference deep cleaning made to the Porcelain floor, not only did we manage to restore their natural appearance and texture but there was a significant improvement in the wet slip resistance of the tile surface. The work was all completed out of hours between 22.00hr and 06.00 hrs so that there was no disruption to the hotel or health club guests.
Deep Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled floor at a Health Club in London